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Phormium tenax 'Oue'. Harakeke cultivar.

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Harakeke cultivar. 1)Following notes from Flax Commissioners Report 1870, 1871:

Kelly, Taranaki, 1870; Leaf narrow, of an olive green. Edge and keel are orange. Kelly says this description is applied to Tīhore in other papers, he thinks wrongly.

Taranaki, Native; One of best varieties for garment making.

Taylor, Wanganui and Armstrong , Christchurch; Narrow leaf, very strong. Orange edges. 34% fibre

Locke, Hawkes Bay, 1870; fine fibre, next to Tāpoto Whakatane Native; Best variety, white and soft. Breaking strain 91

Hutton, Waikato; Typical Tīhore

Mantell, Waikato; A fine fibre. Also Ouhe.

Heaphy, East Coast; Also, Tāpoto. Cultivated at Coromandel, Kawhia and Waikato. Glossy leaves, rather red at the edge; has a general orange green appearance at a distance.

2)Selwyn 1847: Oue found at Maungatautiri (north west Lake Taupo). In class of plants called Tīhore - flax scraped with fingernail only

3)Taylor 1870: "fine kind of flax for mats, not for cordage, it is too brittle"

4) Best 1908, 1898 ; Imported to Urewera from Waikato. Cultivated. Best fibre, prized. Māori describe two sexes of Oue: i) male - leaves more pointed, longer fibre. Leaves have reddish streaks (kakaka). Harsh fibre with reddish tinge (ma pūwhero) ii) female - shorter leaves, not so long a fibre. Edges are a light reddish colour (pūwhero). Fibre white and soft.

5) New Zealand Department Agriculture 1908 ; Oue a semi bronze flax. Very broad thick leaf. Not so pointed as other cultivars. Butt very heavy, coarse. Fibre is strong, silky, medium colour. Not strong. Not recommended for commercial use.

6) Listed in Best 1942

7) Williams 1971; variety of flax, leaves of brown colour

8) Andersen 1907; Leaf narrow, deep green. Edge and keel coloured like karaka. Makes superior garments. Includes Tīhore, Rongo-tainui, Paritaniwha, Rukutia, Huruhika

9) Gregory Collection, Kaitaia; Muka flax. Yellow green leaves. Wide, medium length. Good fibre, semi-transparent at tips and edge when held to the sun. Little or no kōrari.

10) Shortland 1856; Bay of Islands. Soft, almost resembles silk. But two defects, fibres shorter and more feeble. Prefers rich deep dark soil, moderately dry. Much cultivated by natives. Tāpoto and Oue both `Tīhore" class of flax

11) Hector 1889; A favourite variety in Waikato, Bay of Plenty. Planted by Hirst at Pātea in one of first major industrial plantations

12) Drysdale & McGregor 1910; Grown at Weraroa by Department of Agriculture from seed. Wide variation in seedlings.

13) "He had never heard of a kind called oue - perhaps it might be a North Island kind and name" (Beattie of Te Paro, MS 582/E/11, Hocken)

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28 May 2007
2 July 2020
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